I think we all expected this. And in a way, I'm proud the Warriors played them that close. But I think the closeness of the score belies the actual disparity in talent/execution between the teams. Even with home court, fresh legs and barrage of threes, in the end the Horents were a better team and knew what to do to win.
Let's go over the good the first...
1.) Action Jackson: Yes, he fell off in the 4th quarter. Tired legs and whatnot. But he was awesome throughout 90 percent of the game. Hitting threes, finishing well, dishing off, assuming primary ball handling responsibilites. Now, in a best case scenario, we'd have Jackson handling the ball maybe 30-40 percent of the time, not 70-80 percent of the time as he did in game 1. But of course, we can't do that without a pg.
2.) Kelenna Azubuike: What a solid player. Strong finisher, great defender, great energy player. This guy needs more playing time and needs to have some plays run for him.
3.) Maggette: He's pretty fast. And he's a pretty good shooter too. But what's best is his ability to get to the line and hit those free throws.
4.) Biedrins' defense: In fact, when Biedrins fouled out in the 4th, i knew things were bad and you could tell Biedrins knew it too. There was no one else who could gaurd Paul at that point in the game: Jackson was too tired, and no one had the close out speed to give Paul space to prevent him from driving while affecting his shot when he went for the J. Paul's shot looked bad that game and Biedrins was a huge part of that.
5.) Turiaff: Our new Foyle. Great blocks and great attitude.
As for the bad
1.) Harrington needs to go: Here's why. We have Jackson Maggette Azu Harrington. Essentially, they're all small forwards. But out of the 4, Harrington is the dumbest and the softest. He might be a good person or whatever. But he's a redundant part that does not have a strong basketball IQ and is too soft. Trade him for ANYTHING, ANY kind of pg help, and we're fine.
2.) Point Gaurd Play: From Demarcus's Nelson's 2 turnovers in three minutes to CJ watson's airball to the near heart attack Nelson gave me out of the timeout in the closing minutes, our point gaurds look outclassed, outmatched, and frankly, stupid.
3.) Weak Execution on the Fast Break: But this is to be expected when you lose your top two fastbreak-ers in Ellis and Davis over the course of the season. Azu did a pretty good job at this department, but it's a big fall-off from the near invincible fastbreaks we had with Ellis running last year.
And actually, that's about it. It was a pretty good game and we fell just a little bit short. Add in any sort of decent point gaurd play, let alone Ellis, and we win that game.
Some closing thoughts:
- I feel very strongly about Harrington. He needs to be traded: redundant, soft, stupid. I don't care about his personality; this is who he is on the basketball court. I say we trade him for Ben Gordon. It's better than nothing and you know Chicago doesn't want to get rid of Hinrich.
- You have to wonder about Mullin's drafting. I mean, we've needed a power forward for... 3 to 4 years now, and that's all Mullin's been drafting. But you're telling me not one can come in to play 5 to 10 minutes of energetic defense on David West? Either Mullin is failing or Nelson is wrong.
- Marcus Williams, you fat piece of sh*t. Go run a few miles every day and get us some consistency at the 1. It's good for us and it's good for you.
- Monta, you're an idiot.
- I heard something like 20+ road games in the first two months? If we come out .500, we're GOLDEN.
That's all. overall an encouraging game and perhaps a moral victory, but I think we're close enough to being a successful team that we shouldn't settle for that.